[O]ut of respect to my daughter, I haven’t shared much about my current co-parenting situation. As I review and compare DGC to other custody blogs, I realize I have purposely left out the million crazy instances of co-parenting with someone who has a very different moral and parenting style. As the title of this blog indicates, Daddy Got Custody, I have been the custodial parent since my daughter was four (she’s about to be 17 next month).
The rest of the world has NO IDEA how stressful it can be for blended parents. To always deal and parent in a back-and-forth situation. It is one of the worst experiences of my life. It’s a crazy solution to a growing divorce problem.
“Co-parenting really sucks. Ok, I’ve said it.”
During the last 17 years, I have been involved in 110 court appearances, three CPS investigations, several kidnappings, three police related incidents. My Ex, during that same time, has moved about a dozen times, only half the time I knew where she was, gone to jail on three different occasions, sometimes as long as 50 days, and created more altercations than I could even mention in 100 posts.
The 17 Years of Hell is Over
Then after 17 years of hell, my Ex facing about 5-7 more years of jail time, ask me if “I would let her out of back child support and her parenting responsibilities permanently?” While certainly not my first choice, we talked it over with our daughter, and then went to court and signed papers. That was October 2015.
After 17 years of keeping copies of my court order in my car, never knowing if CPS or the police would call each day–it is over. After 13 years of answering the cell phone on the first ring from my daughter’s school, or hearing reports that my Ex is making a scene on a school campus–it is over. After 17 years of getting verbally abusing calls and texts on a regular bases–it is over. After 17 years of studying a calendar and saying “No, my daughter probably can’t participate on that day, because that’s her mother’s weekend. You probably have to call my Ex instead.” AFTER 17 YEARS… it is all over.
It’s taken me four months, to actually look at a calendar and not count weekends or days for every major or minor event in our lives. It has taken me four months, to realize Caitlyn has the freedom to visit a college weekend. It has taken us four months to realize Caitlyn can enroll in a driver’s education course without having to schedule it online, or on 2nd and 4th weekends. It’s all over.
The tension I have felt for 17 years is also gone. Then I realized something I never thought about before…
[tweet “Co-Parenting really sucks. There I said it.”]
Most divorce parents suffer in silence, because there are no perfect solutions. If you are blended parent, stop being a pill to your Ex. Do whatever is humanly possible to work with your Ex.
If not, maybe YOU are the problem. Maybe it’s time for YOU to take a sabbatical. Maybe it is time for a season of peace. Maybe that’s what is in the best interest of your children.
If you are considering divorce, don’t. If you can weather a bad marriage until the kids are grown, do. Bad co-parenting sucks. Not just for the kids, but everyone else as well.
What are some of the struggles you deal with in co-parenting? How do you feel about the entire blended family experience?
Images from DollarPhotoClub.com